Category: Tortilla Chips

Lemon Split Pea Soup with Peppered Sour Cream

Lemon Split Pea Soup with Peppered Sour Cream

 

Split pea is an old love, but I never make it the same way twice.   What’s cool about this version is a. the lick of lemon up against the spicy notes and b. texture layers– i.e. crunchy, seedy tortilla chips and smooth sour cream on top of the soup, which is about halfway pureed. 

Legume soups are healthy and inexpensive, but I’m mostly drawn to them because they’re tasty, homey, and filling.  I adore the look, smell, and feel of a big pot of bean soup bubbling away on the stove nearly anytime.  Split pea is about the quickest in the group, though lentils are right up there.
About an hour, especially if you use the food processor for chopping, you’ve got super soup.  I’ve made them while camping, using a Coleman stove.  They’re so simple and accepting of different ingredients that as long as you have the dried beans in the pantry and a few staples like onions, carrots, and celery, you’ve got soup.  Add-ins might be zucchini, jalapeno, or leftover asparagus; toppings might be minced cucumber or grated Parmesan or oyster crackers.  A bit of crunchy bacon on top could replace ham hocks or chopped ham in the soup.  No meat at all, made with vegetable stock, and it’s great for a vegan meal.  Versatile is the word for these soups.   Make a big pot, freeze individual portions (Tupperware makes freezer-microwave safe containers), and you have lunch.

The day I made this, I called a friend at 10 and said, “Come for lunch at 12.”  I started the soup at 11 and, well, it was a good thing she was a little late.  I was still pureeing at 12:10, but that might have been because I was doing ten other things in the middle…  Honest, it’s pretty quick for soup.  I think Dave ate nearly three bowls and the friend two.  While not in the habit of wine at lunch except while on vacation or for tasting, we did each have a half-glass of California Chardonnay with this and thought it a fine sip.  I think, with the heat in this soup (and I like several sorts of heat at once), an off-dry Oregon or German Riesling would be a good match as well.    Try this:

lemon split pea soup with peppered sour cream
                   8 servings

  • 2T olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small red potatoes chopped (with peel)
  • 2 cups dried split peas
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1/2 tsp each dried thyme, marjoram, crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp each freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt
  • 1 qt each vegetable and chicken stock
  • 2 cups water or 1 cup water and 1 cup white wine
  • 4-6 drops hot sauce
  • 2T fresh lemon juice 

Toppings:  1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt mixed with freshly ground black pepper
                   Tortilla chips with seeds

In an 8-qt stockpot, heat oil over medium heat and add celery, onion, carrots, and potatoes.  Dust with a bit of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, five minutes or so.  Add everything else except the lemon juice.  Stir and raise heat to high.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer.  Cook until peas and  vegetables are tender, about an hour.  Add lemon juice.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Puree using an immersion blender or in batches in the food processor.  If you’d like a chunkier soup, leave it as is or crush briefly with a potato masher. Serve hot with seeded tortilla chips and a dollop of peppered sour cream for toppings.


Cook’s Note:  If you’d like a crock-pot version, try this on my Dinner Place blog (Cooking for One.)  I did say I liked to make split pea soup.

Sing a new song,
Alyce

50 Women Game-Changers – # 45 – Diana Kennedy- Fresh Salsa Mexicana from Jerez

50 Women Game-Changers – # 45 – Diana Kennedy- Fresh Salsa Mexicana from Jerez

Wake up and smell the salsa.
This is not salsa made in New York City.
Nor in San Antonio.
This salsa is made in your house. On your cutting board. 
And not in your Cuisinart.

Plant your gardens and sharpen your knives.
This salsa is worth the time it takes to  grow the ingredients and make it by hand.  But you can make it in its glorious Mexican-flag colors this weekend in honor of Cinco de Mayo if you’d like!

If you’ve not been part of this journey thus far, welcome to my addition to a great group of food bloggers who are, week by week, cooking dishes from the 50 Women Game-Changers in Food from Gourmet Live.  This Friday we feature Mexican chef, teacher, and cookbook author, Diana Kennedy, a Brit (b. 1923)  who ended up in Mexico in love with Mexican food for more than fifty years.  Intent on sharing her passion, Kennedy wrote many cookbooks, (I count about twenty, though some are in English and some in Spanish.) but has remained most intent on passing on information about the culture of ingredients, agriculture,  and cuisine all over the country.
“I’m a very active person,” she said. “I want to spend the rest of my days doing what I know best and that’s identifying what people are using in the culture.”   Read more
Want to check out a recent interview?   Read a  2011 interview with 88 year-old Diana Kennedy here.
But let’s get to the good stuff.  How do you make this salsa?  And what’s it good for?
fresh salsa mexicana from jerez 
  1. 1 poblano chile—stems, seeds, and veins removed and flesh finely chopped
  2. 1 red jalapeño chile—stems, seeds, and veins removed and flesh finely chopped
  3. 2 yellow chiles—stems, seeds and veins removed and flesh finely chopped  *
  4. 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped
  5. 3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  6. 1 ripe medium tomato (about 4 ounces), finely chopped
  7. 1/2 cup water
  8. 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  9. 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  10. Salt
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl; season with salt to taste. Set aside to macerate for about 1 hour.
*Not wanting an overly-hot salsa, I substituted red  bell pepper for these chiles.  My salsa was quite mild.  For a hotter salsa, try adding first one and then another yellow chile.

Recipe courtesy FOOD & WINE.

This salsa was really tasty with eggs, and while I’m not a chip-eater, I did try it with some tortilla chips and would have eaten more if I weren’t saving some for a Friday night movie.   I think it would make a great veggie dip; I’m always looking for vegetable-based dips.  You could ladle this sauce over simple greens or plain steamed vegetables.  I thought I’d try it with some plain grilled chicken and then in a chicken taco salad over the weekend.  My guess is it won’t keep more than a couple of days, but who would want it to?

I just loved the colors and intrinsic beauty of the ingredients and kept taking photographs of the greens and the reds…. 

And just to tease you:
Eggs traded for cookies with a St. Paul pianist who has a backyard full of chickens.

Please take some time and visit more of our great food bloggers:

Val – More Than Burnt Toast, Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan – The Spice Garden
Heather – girlichef, Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney, Amrita – Beetles Kitchen Escapades
Mary – One Perfect Bite, Sue – The View from Great Island, Barbara – Movable Feasts
Linda A – There and Back Again, Nancy – Picadillo, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen, Annie – Most Lovely Things, Jeanette – Healthy Living
Claudia – Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce – More Time at the Table
Kathy – Bakeaway with Me, Martha – Simple Nourished Living, Jill – Saucy Cooks
Sara – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

If you liked this, you might like Boiled Eggs on English Muffins with Asparagus and Cheese Sauce on my Dinner Place  blog:

Cooking for One – It’s Fun!

 Sing a new song,
Alyce